Last year I ran Titi 100km as my first 100k ultra. I do not remember the route very clearly. However, I do remember the climb was #$%@. Hahaha sorry for my language. For those who have not done any road ultra and you are thinking of doing one, please train for it. Titi Ultra is not a simple road ultra, it is know as one of the Toughest Road Ultra in Malaysia for a reason. Your training needs to include hills repeat, heart break hills and heat training. I said this because I experience the pain last year and I didn’t want to experience the same thing this year.
This year, being crazy and all. I registered myself for 200km. This was after meeting Odef, Chandru, Ben, Victor, Darren and Jerry in Putrajaya 100miles, Amirul in TMBT and Umar in TNF. These people are like poison to me. They make me itch for more each time I meet them. Thanks guys, Love you all.
Manage to take a photo with one of the World’s Greatest ultra runner from Japan, Ryochi Sekiya.
The race starts on Friday, 17th March 6pm and ends on sunday 19th March 10am (40hours). Only the brave registered for the 250km, which had to completed in 42hours. The finisher rate for 200km category was <50% last year. Hence proper strategy would be required to perform this race. Prior to starting the race, it rained. But only for a short period. As we where about to start, it stopped and the sun was out. It was a nice weather to start the race.
As we countdown and the horn was sound, I prayed to God and asked for his guidance, blessing and strength for this journey. For 200km runners, we were required to perform 2 loops of 100km.
This was a mental game, as you reached CP11 (start location), you will be tempted to sit and not move. From the start, I try to break free from the crowd.I like to do this because, my strategy in races are normally to gain as much ground early in the race as I do not know what to expect later in the race. Upon reaching CP1, my legs was still good. I managed to complete CP1 and 2 within my expected time. On my way to CP3, I met a runner from Sabah (Sugeng Asianto), we manage to keep each other company as we were about the same pace. The race leaders were way in front. Both of us managed our pace well as we focused on going uphill <11:45min/km and downhill was free gear. On average our pace should not exceed 11:45min/km with a target to complete within 38 hours.
As we reached CP5 -48km (Poum) baggage drop location, we had about 20 mins to spare before we headed out. Sugeng and I refueled on what we needed in out drop bag. I changed my socks to a clean new pair of Injinji (after applying vaseline). This is to ensure my toes are continuously dry and don’t have any blisters. Put on my Ahon gaiters and off we go.
We continued our rhythm till we reached CP8 (75km) – TPRC. The volunteers here were great. They kept us on the upbeat with encouragement and jokes. I was even promised beer at one point in time (maybe i was daydreaming). CP9 (85.5km) – telekom towers volunteers were also great. These are true ultra runners who helped with water stations. They knew what other ultra runners need in an event. They were very well equipped and always ready to helped. These are the team that will be organizing the Cultra (Cameron Ultra) in July 2017.
Nothing much happened between CP9-CP10, except that the fog was bad. Lucky for me I brought a pair of torchlight. This saved us while running. I was able to focus the light beam on a further distance as we ran. Hence, allowing incoming vehicles to see us from a far. It also helps us in plotting the best shortest path ascending or deceasing. The view on the Lake was gorgeous. I was too lazy to take out my phone, hence there was no picture from me.
We reached Water View (completed 1st loop) by 9:11am. By then the sun was up and it was a different ball game. We manage to see the race leaders as we where coming back to Water View (CP11). the 250km and 200km race leaders were too far in front. These guys where amazing (Wilnar Iglesia-250km and Fedoh Ompiduk-200km). We rested for 45mins; meals, shower, shirt and pants change & sock change. I manage to put on my 2Toms sports shield, and took 10Oz of Hammer Recoverite before we headed off. I took the Hammer Recoverite because I wanted re-energizer my muscle before heading out for my second loop.
By then, it was already 1030am and the sun was killer. We just managed our climbed up hill in a continuous motion and continue to hydrate. Lesson learnt, always drinks lots of water. Better to carry 2L of water and have sufficient hydration, rather then try to be light and get dehydrated.
You can see from the photos take, we where actually drained. But, we had to push on. Our goal was one CP at a time. We took a 20mins break at CP 12 and CP14. I remembered that the breakfast I took at Water View cause my tummy to be slightly upsetting. Hence making me looking out for toilets along the way. I was even looking for a well covered bush or drain by the highway to do my #02. I didn’t dare to do it in public cause someone may just video me doing a #02 and it goes viral. Hahaha! Imagine running from CP12 to CP13 looking for toilet only to find out that it was only gas. Then from CP13 to CP14 & CP14 to CP15 same thing. Luckily by CP15, investment was made. I felt so much at ease after that. Nothing else mattered before then, it was only TOILET!.
As we reached CP16 (Poum- 148km), I was already hungry. Hence we took a 30 mins break for prayers and replenishment. I tried to take a short 10 mins nap but couldn’t. Had cup noodles, UBEnergybar and fruits before we left. Just as we where about to leave, it rained. And me being stupid left my rain coat at Water View CP in the morning. So, it was shower time for me. Rain was pouring really bad. so was the thunder. I was wondering if the race organizer where going to cancel the race. As we moved on through the night, the rain stopped. But by then (~9pm), and we had passed CP17 – Surau juction and I was sleepy. I was already walking zig-zag and trying very hard to keep my eyes open. While Sugeng was starting the hallucinate. At that moment. I was already looking out for a nice flat surface to sleep. Unfortunately, we were on the main road and cars where moving pretty fast. We tried to BS and talked nonsense to stay awake. A nice warm coffee at that time would have been perfect. I couldn’t describe by delight as we reached CP18 – Chennah (163.5km). I wanted to lie on the medic bed but there were other runners on it. Hence, we just go the the shop near buy, ordered drinks and rested our heads on the table.
30mins later…. Wakey Wakey, time to get up. We got up, drank our drinks and off we went uphill climb to CP19 (175km). That power nap was good. It gave us a sudden boost of energy. We soon caught up with other 200km runners. By then, the Adrenalin had already kicked in. It was game time. Any opportunity of a run downhill was not taken for granted. We tried to gain as much ground as possible since we are still wide awake. We son reached CP19 and had our coffee. At that moment the 250km runner was resting for his final 25km run. That is fast!
CP19-CP21 was basically a run all the way downhill game for us. Just took 5 mins at each CP to replenish and off we went. I was actually shocked find out, that when we finished. I came in 3rd and Sugeng came in 4th. We didn’t expect to be the top 4. Praise the heavenly father for that.
As I took off my shoes and socks for shower, I noticed that i had no signs of blisters or chaffing. Thanks to these simple rules:
- 1/2 size larger shoes when running ultra
- change socks at least every 50km with vaseline
- wear comfortable shoes – for me its Hoka One One
- put on 2Toms sports glide to stay chaffing free
This race would not have been possible for me if i didn’t have the support of my family, friends and sponsors.